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Mario Andretti urges F1 to ‘not overstay’ amid rumors of fourth US race

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Racing icon Mario Andretti shared his thoughts and concerns about the possibility of adding a fourth Formula One race in the United States.

The expansion of the Formula One calendar in the United States has been a topic of hot debate among fans and insiders. With the existing races in Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas drawing large crowds and generating significant attention, the idea of introducing a fourth race might seem appealing at first glance. However, Andretti offers a note of caution.

During an exclusive interview with Lydia Mee via Sports Illustrated, Andretti commented on the ongoing discussions about expanding the F1 presence in America.

“Well, personally I think you have to be a bit careful not to overstay,” he remarked. He went on to explain that while the addition of races is fundamentally positive, it’s crucial to keep them special and eagerly anticipated.

“I think there has to be something that you really look forward to. Sometimes if you have too much of a good thing, you don’t appreciate it as much. That’s my opinion.”

Max Verstappen races down the front straight on the white flag lap of the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. The Las Vegas Grand Prix…

Will Lester/MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

This sentiment reflects a broader concern about the balance and sustainability of the Formula One calendar. Andretti continued:

“I can take it any way they’d like, but I think three Formula One races where you know, 75 years ago, we were hoping for at least two, but now we have three. They’re three very popular races. We’ve seen that with the attendance and so forth. Let’s not try to overdo it.”

From a logistical perspective, Andretti also highlighted the challenges faced by the teams.

“I think even from the standpoint of the teams. The season is to be able to move from continent to continent. I think you have to be realistic somewhere. It’s one thing about wanting to grow but somewhere along the line, you want to make sure that you don’t overdo it,” he stated.

Having competed across numerous decades, Andretti’s insights come from a deep understanding of the sport’s development and the shifts in its global appeal. The current US races have successfully carved out their niches with Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas all bringing something different to the calendar.

The rumors of adding a race in a metropolitan giant like New York or Chicago present exciting prospects but also raise questions about balancing US races out with events from other continents, especially with the huge amount of interest there is to join the Formula One line-up.